3 Steps to Breaking Up the Healthy Way

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Have you ever wondered what it means when you hear these words: “I’m just not ready for a relationship”?

We have too.

New York City freelance writer Laura Gilbert and Elisha Cuthbert, actress in the new series, “Happy Endings,” educates on what these words mean, and how to break up — healthy style.

In Gilbert’s article, 8 Common Dating Lines — Decoded, posted on on Yahoo!, Gilbert says, when your suspected significant other says, “I’m just not ready for a relationship” they really mean “I’m just not in love with you.”

Gilbert goes on, “It’s hard when someone you like tells you he or she’s not in a place to seriously date anyone. But it also makes you hope that the problem is timing, not your personalities. If you can just be patient, you think, things could percolate, right?  Wrong. ‘This means I don’t love you, so if that’s what you want, we should break up,’ says Puhn (Laurie Puhn, J.D., author of Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life) Don’t be fooled — when this person does meet someone who has that spark, he or she will indeed be ready for a relationship.”

In the April issue of Men’s Health, Cuthbert, shares insights on three steps to breaking up, the healthy way.

Step 1 – Make a Clean Cut

  • After a split, many women stay in touch and inadvertently send the wrong signals.  Don’t be fooled: “Women know the relationship is over but are afraid to be alone, so they still keep that one little string attached,” Cuthbert says.  “You need to step away.” Neither of you will be able to properly move on until you cut ties.

Step 2 – Control the Damage

  • Yeah, your business is your business.  But if you and your ex have mutual friends you both intend to keep, staying quiet about the breakup will only make things awkward for everyone.  “Explain your side to each friend,” she says.  “I think they have a right to know.” But don’t bash your ex—ever.  Friends will stand by you, but nobody wants to play favorites.

Step 3 – Shake it Off

  • After a split, many men can be standoffish toward new women.  “I think most guys think they have to play it cool, otherwise women are going to run for the hills.  I don’t think it’s like that,” Cuthbert says.  Case in point: After her first date with now boyfriend Dion Phaneuf (captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs), he called to make sure she made it home safely.  Smart move. “It was really nice,”  I thought, “Oh, I’ve got a good guy here.”

Thanks to the April issue of Men’s Health for Elisha Cuthbert’s contribution and  to New York City freelance writer Laura Gilbert.

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